|by Brent Harris • April 23, 2011|
Senior Joe Johnson singled home Montana Timmons with the game-winning run in a 5-4 extra inning contest at Denison on Saturday. The Little Giants pounded Denison 13-5 in game one for a series sweep of the Big Red.
The wins take Wabash from fifth place in the North Coast Athletic Conference standings at the start of the day to third, vaulting past Denison and Wittenberg. The Little Giants are now 18-20 overall and vault to 9-5 in NCAC games. Wabash will close out its regular season on Monday with two games in Xenia, Ohio against Kenyon College. The games were originally scheduled for Friday afternoon, but rain forced a postponement to Sunday. Poor weather once again forced a change, moving the games to a neutral site midway between both schools.
Wabash scored four runs in the second inning to take a 4-1 lead over Denison in game two. Johnson (right) started the scoring by reaching base on a two-single. Robby Hechinger and Chris Deig each followed with singles, scoring Johnson to tie the game at 1-1. An error on a ground ball by John Pennington loaded the bases. John Holm brought two runs home with a single through the right side. Timmons followed with a double off the left field wall to bring Pennington home with the fourth run of the inning.
The Big Red cut the lead to 4-2 in the bottom of the second before the game would advance to the top of the sixth inning. With a steady rain falling, the infield tarps came out to force a one-hour, 40-minute rain delay.
Wabash was six outs away from completing the sweep in regulation, but Denison rallied for a run in the sixth and one more in the seventh to tie the contest at 4-4. Timmons led off the eighth inning with a single through the left side of the infield. Tanner Coggins' sacrifice bunt moved Timmons to second. A walk to PJ Tyson and a fielder's choice by David Seibel put runners on the corners with two outs. Johnson drilled the first pitch through the left side to score Timmons with the eventual game-winning run.
Chris Widup came on in relief in the eighth, hitting the first batter to put the tying run aboard. Two consecutive ground outs by the next two batters ended in force plays at second, bringing Tim Duxbury to the plate for the Big Red (16-20, 8-7 NCAC). Widup finished with a strikeout to earn his first career save.
Andrew Swart (left) earned the victory — his second of the day after pitching a complete game, seven-inning win in game one. The junior righthander worked one inning, allowing a run on one hit and one walk with a wild pitch and a strikeout. Brian Van Duyn pitched well over five innings prior to the lengthy rain delay, allowing only two runs on four hits with three walks and four strikeouts. Luke Zinsmaster pitched the sixth inning, giving up one run on three hits with a strikeout.
Swart worked all seven innings in the first game, scattering 10 hits. He allowed four earned runs with two walks and six strikeouts. His only real trouble came in the bottom of the sixth inning when Kyle Clemmonson hit a two-run home run.
Deig, Timmons, and Coggins each finished with three hits in game one for Wabash. Hechinger joined Timmons and Coggins with each collecting three RBI in the contest.